Intentional travel provides so many amazing opportunities for learning and growth. This year has interrupted most travel plans, but as we experiment with remote travel or virtual travel experiences, we find that there a several ways that this kind of travel meets or exceeds the expectations we have for real, physical travel. Here 7 of the ways we find virtual travel are worthwhile:
- Access to an international experience from anywhere at any time
You have the freedom to study and explore the culture and history 24/7 from anywhere and at any time that suits your busy schedule. All you need is your laptop or other digital device. Once you log in to Zoom you’re in a different culture, a different country. You’re joining student discussions, conducting research, in contact with a program leader and classmates from around the world.
- Explore different cultures
Through virtual trips abroad, students are exposed to cultures and experiences that they wouldn’t usually have access to. By opening up a student’s mind to different cultures, they will gain a wider understanding of the world and appreciation for other peoples’ ways of life.
- Allows for lifelong memories to be made with friends
Taking the students out of a typical classroom environment and into a new country virtually allows them to work as a team with other classmates outside of their normal group. Not only that, but they make lifelong memories among peers and program leaders from around the world with different perspectives, backgrounds, and experiences.
- Effective time management
A virtual travel program provides a welcoming environment for students that are balancing multiple extracurriculars and the new demands of going back to school. You save hours and even days not flying across the world to learn and be exposed to cultures and experiences that you wouldn’t have access to normally.
- Expanded worldview
Virtual travel attracts students from across the U.S. and around the world, who bring different perspectives from diverse cultures. You may have opportunities to work on group projects and collaborate with international classmates. Insights into other cultures, attitudes, and problem-solving approaches can inform your own approaches to problems and opportunities.
- Sharpened digital skills
While increasing your knowledge and skills in your area of study, you’ll also be honing your digital skills on the most sophisticated online meeting platform. As you continue to learn and study in a virtual world, you’ll become confident and highly productive using interactive online tools such as collaboration tools, e-mail communications to program leaders and fellow classmates, and video presentations.
- Travel anxiety-free
Many students fear the idea of traveling so far away from home without their friends or families. Some worry about leaving something important behind when they travel. With virtual travel both of those worries disappear. You definitely don’t need to worry about keeping your passport safe (you don’t even need one for this “trip!”). Virtual traveling allows for an amazing international experience without the stress some people feel along with the ride. Sit back, relax and enjoy international “travel” right from your living room.